Friday, August 3, 2012

This Is My (Summer) Jam!

Ah, "Summertime and the living is easy". Nay, "summer breeze makes me feel fine, blowin' through the jasmine of my mind." Fie, "I think it's fly when [a guy] stops by for the summer."

I have always been told that I have a musical memory. It is both a blessing and a curse to hear a song and be forced to rack through the files in my brain to remember "Oh, yeah. It was on that episode of Grey's Anatomy four seasons ago," or "Oh, yeah. It was on that car commercial. You know, the one with the handsome guy driving through empty city streets?". For some reason, no one is ever on the same page as me. Where I really love my musical memory, is when I am able to hear a song and have it take me back to a specific time and place. Viva La Vida takes me back to driving around in my friend's Saturn and doing spazzy dance moves. "Umbrella" or "Bubbly" take me back to my semester in Vienna. Madonna: The Immaculate Collection take me back to driving from Maine to California with my family as a little girl. Jagged Little Pill takes me back to when I was a little older in Spokane, WA, but still too young to understand what she was talking about in "You Oughta Know".

I don't think I am alone in this part of my musical memory. For me, summers especially have always been an even better harvesting ground for those albums or songs with which I will identify that point in my life. It probably has something to do with being more carefree or open to the music (pretty sure that is straight out of a dancing movie. I've been on a kick).

Whatever the reason, I love to find my "Summer Albums". While they may not be quite on-the-nose-summery as the songs at the top of this post, I find that my summer music tends to always have that open, breezy, windows-down quality.

With all that said (sorry that all really got away from me), I thought I would talk about the five albums that I have been playing on repeat this summer, in no particular order because I just couldn't:

Summer Camp (quite apropos for this post, no?) - Welcome to Condale
Genre: Pop
Music Equation: Summer Camp = Sixteen Candles soundtrack + a dash of Heathers x current music + Zooey Deschanel's voice but stronger
Why I love them: Where do I start? It takes me back to the girl that started an 80's club at her high school with her friends while still allowing me to feel current. Welcome to Condale is one of those albums where I love every song, whether it be the fun and poppy "Better Off Without You" or the creepy cool "I Want You". Also, I bought this album in November and it's still going strong on repeat because it's the gift that keeps on giving.
Best Lyric: "And if I could I'd squeeze your hand so tight every knuckle would crack
I'd wrap my arms around you and snap every bone in your back." - "I Want You"
Best Songs: Where to even begin? "Losing My Mind", "Welcome to Condale", "Brain Krakow" and "Better Off Without You", to name a few

The Lumineers - The Lumineers
Genre: Folky, Bluegrassy Rock (?) (I'm not claiming to be a music expert)
Music Equation: The Lumineers = Mumford & Sons - over hype + Fleet Foxes + Bing commercial
Why I love them: I'm ashamed to say how I discovered this band, but CW or not, I'm happy I did. After first hearing "Ho Hey", I fell so hard for it that I had to find, only to discover that the song or album wouldn't be available for another 4 months! Needless to say, a Youtube video of the song was played several times to help me bide the time. Then when the day finally came, I fell even harder because the whole album is awesome.
Best Lyric: "Classy girls don't kiss in bars" - "Classy Girls"
Best Songs: "Stubborn Love", "Ho Hey", "Big Parade", "Flowers in Your Hair", "Classy Girls"

Metric - Synthetica
Genre: Alternative Electro Rock
Music Equation: Metric = Letters to Cleo x 2012 + Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Why I love them: They have music in Scott Pilgrim. Done! Oh, you want elaboration? Fine. Lead singer Emily Haines has this voice that melts butter, and kicks ... butt at the same time, yet she also is able to do quirky things with her voice without it seeming out of place. While I still hold a candle for their last album Fantasies, this latest is able to keep up with both lush, synthy, drifting songs and loud, hard-hitting anthems.
Best Lyric: "I was looking for a hooker when I found you." - "Lost Kitten"
Best Songs: "Lost Kitten" (love), "Breathing Underwater", "Dreams So Real", "The Void"

Passion Pit - Gossamer
Genre: Alternative Electro Pop
Music Equation: Passion Pit= MGMT + Architecture in Helsinki - some quirkiness x Polyphonic Spree
Why I love them: Because I can have the following scenario: After buying the album last week, I was listening to it while driving home from a trip to Target when I happened upon "Carried Away". Now this could be attributed to my post-retail therapy high, but I proceeded to listen to the song five times in a row while unabashedly dancing in my car. It is the best car dancing song. EVER. This and many other reasons are why Passion Pit is great.
Best Lyric: "Don't call me crazy, I'm happy" - "It's Not My Fault, I'm Happy"
Best Songs: "Carried Away","I'll Be Alright", "Cry Like a Ghost", "Hideaway", "Love is Greed"

Purity Ring - Shrines
Genre: Electronic
Music Equation: Purity Ring = Phantogram (check out "When I'm Small". Changed my life last summer) + Crystal Castles
Why I love them: My newest discovery, but we are currently making up for lost time by getting a lot of quality time in. They have this really open sound that pulls you in and then you listen to lyrics and get creeped out. It's awesome!
Best Lyric: "Cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you." - "Fineshrine"
Best Songs: "Fineshrine", "Ungirthed", "Crawlersout", "Amenamy", "Saltkin", "Lofticries"

Well, there you have it. I hope that some of you can find something new here to enjoy or if you didn't, aren't these albums awesome?!

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